Green spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara
Spaghetti carbonara
Spaghetti carbonara

Admittedly I’ve never tried spaghetti carbonara, so I have no comparison, but from what I’ve heard it’s the bacon that gives this dish the smoky, salty hit that it’s so famous for. Take the bacon away and all you’re left with is eggy spaghetti… Scrummy. So I’ve added some greens and a rather questionable ingredient – smoked tofu. Believe me, I was as unconvinced as you undoubtedly are, but a small diced amount brings the subtle smoky flavour this dish requires. Failing that, I have a packet of Frazzles on standby.

Green spaghetti carbonara
Serves 2 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 25 mins 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
150g spaghetti
1 courgette, grated
80g smoked tofu, diced
½ tsp smoked paprika + extra for sprinkling
100g baby spinach
3 tbs Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp horseradish sauce
40g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or *Parmesan, grated
2 eggs
140g dried spaghetti
Chopped parsley to serve (optional)
Drizzle Pomora extra virgin olive oil (optional)

1. Start by putting a kettle on to boil and grating the courgette and chopping the tofu into small pieces. Once boiled, pour the water into a medium sized saucepan and place over a medium heat, bring to a simmer but don’t add the spaghetti just yet.
2. In a separate large saucepan or cooking pot, add the oil and place over a medium to high heat. Once hot, add the courgette along with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the tofu pieces, half a teaspoon of smoked paprika and give it a stir. Turn the heat down to medium and gently cook, stirring occationally. Now is a good time to add the spaghetti to the simmering water (follow the packet instructions and cook to your desired level of al dente).
3. Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, horseradish and crushed garlic in a small mixing bowl. Grate in the cheese, add the eggs and a generous pinch of pepper. Stir well and put to one side.
4. Add the spinach to the courgette mixture a handful at a time until wilted. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add straight into the pot. Pour over the carbonara sauce and stir carefully to coat the pasta. Season well with salt and pepper before turning up the heat and cook for a few more minutes.
5. Divide into bowls and finish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a crack of black pepper.

Spaghetti carbonara
Spaghetti carbonara

If you’ve had a go at making my spaghetti carbonara or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.

Veggie toad-in-the-hole

Toad in the hole
Toad in the hole
Toad in the hole

Not sure why toad-in-the-hole is called toad-in-the-hole. Perhaps it used to be made with real toads – I know the Tudors used to eat all sorts. Although, I guess if you were to consider eating a toad, serving one up in a giant Yorkshire pudding wouldn’t be a bad serving suggestion – especially if you dipped it in mustard.
However, my instincts (and Wikipedia) have informed me that it is much more likely to refer to ‘toads waiting for their prey in their burrows, making their heads visible in the earth, just like the sausages peep through the batter’… How disappointing – although, I did discover that toad-in-the-hole used to have the catchy name of ‘meat boiled in a crust’.
Anyway, rest assured that my recipe for toad-in-the-hole is surprisingly easy, delicious and free from amphibians. What more could you want?

Veggie toad-in-the-hole
Serves 2 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 40 mins / V❄ 
You’ll need: 20cm oven proof dish and an electric whisk
2 tsp rapeseed oil
6 chilled vegetarian sausages, I use Cauldron
3 fresh thyme sprigs
75g plain flour
1 egg
100ml semi skimmed milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
To serve
Wholegrain mustard, gravy and tender-stem broccoli

1. Preheat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/ 428°F/gas mark 7. Grease a small oven-proof dish (roughly 20cm) with oil and add the 6 chilled vegetarian sausages, along with 2 tsp of rapeseed oil. Shake the sausages until they’ll evenly coated in the oil before adding 3 sprigs of fresh thyme. Cook the sausages in the oven, on the middle shelf for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile make the batter, by measuring out the flour in a medium sized bowl. Add a good crack of salt and pepper, along with a pinch of nutmeg and give it a stir. Make a well in the flour and crack the egg into it. Using a hand whisk, combine the egg with the flour and slowly incorporate the milk until you have a thick but smooth batter. Switch to an electric whisk and mix for a couple of minutes. Put to one side.
3. Carefully remove the sausages from the oven and discard the thyme sprigs, leaving the detached leaves. Pour the batter slowly into a corner of the dish slowly and allow it to spread out evenly between the sausages.
4. Return the dish to the oven and bake on the top shelf for 15 minutes or until the batter has puffed up and is a lovely golden colour. Spoon out onto plates and serve with steamed tender-stem broccoli, gravy and a good dollop of wholegrain mustard.

If you’ve had a go at making my veggie toad-in-the-hole or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

V– Vegetarian   – Suitable for home freezing once cooked and cooled. Consume within 3 months.